Two people who interviewed unsuccessfully for jobs at Google and sued for age discrimination may expand their lawsuit. The individuals filed a motion to certify the lawsuit as a class action that would include all people who interviewed in person for an engineering job with Google from 2010 until now, who were 40 years old or older at the time of the interview, and who were not hired.
The lawsuit was filed last year and it alleges that Google engaged in a systematic pattern of discrimination against employees and potential employees who are age 40 and over. The lawsuit alleges that the discrimination took place in Google’s decisions about hiring, compensation, and other employment issues.
The lawsuit stems from Google’s refusal to hire the plaintiff in 2011. The man had applied for a software engineer position and was 60 years old at the time. He had very good qualifications and experience and was told by a Google recruiter that he was a great candidate. He had a phone interview with Google.
In 2015, a programmer joined the lawsuit. She is in her 50s and was invited to four Google in-person interviews but was not hired for any of the positions for which she applied. She has a doctoral degree in computational geophysics and has done postdoc work at Harvard.
If the court approves the motion to certify the age discrimination lawsuit as a class action, Google will be required to give names and contact information for every job applicant over 40 who had in-person interviews for systems engineer, software engineer, or site reliability engineer jobs. They will then be contacted and given the opportunity to join the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, the median age in 2013 for a Google employee was 29. The median age for a computer programmer is 43. This lawsuit is not the first accusing a Silicon Valley company of age discrimination. In 2011 a former Google executive sued Google for age discrimination. A Twitter employee sued the company in 2014 accusing Twitter of age discrimination.
Under both federal and state law, it’s illegal to treat a job applicant or an employee less favorably than other job applicants or employees because of the individual’s age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act forbids discrimination against people who are age 40 and older. Workers who are under the age of 40 are not protected. Employers are allowed to favor an older worker over a younger one.
Age discrimination is illegal when it comes to any aspect of employment, not just hiring decisions. That includes hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, benefits, training, promotions, layoffs, and anything else related to employment.
Harassment based on age is also illegal. Although it’s not illegal to crack a joke on occasion about a person’s age, or to tease him or her, the behavior becomes illegal when it occurs so often or is so serious that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment, or when it results in an adverse employment decision, such as the victim being demoted or fired.
At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty and Seth I. Rosenberg believe that employees who are over the age of 40 should be valued for their experience and knowledge rather than discriminated against. If you have been the victim of age discrimination in the Oakland-San Francisco area, call the Oakland age discrimination attorneys at Liberty Law at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000. We can help. Call us today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation on your case. If we choose to accept your case, you pay us nothing in fees until we get an award for you.